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May 18, 2014

Let us now praise Bill Knott

John Williams, in the March 28 New York Times Book Review, had this to say about him:

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Remembering a Playful Poet

The mischievous poet Bill Knott, who died on March 12 at 74, had died at least once before. In 1966, Knott circulated fake news of his suicide. Two years later, a book of poems published under the pen name Saint Geraud included an introduction that explained the author was really Knott, who was "alive and writing today (although the poet tells me that he would rather have this not known)."

Knott made all his work available online at no cost; kept a blog [entitled "a few hundred of the thousands of rejection slips I've gotten over the years"] showing dozens of the rejection letters he received over the years;

Cream etcet reject

and posted readings of his poems on YouTube, the shaky camera showing pages rather than Knott's face. ("Nobody needs another stupid poem about humanity or humankind's estrangement from nature," he says in one clip, before reading "Ant Dodger" [top], a poem he describes as just that.)

His early poem "Death," in its entirety: "Going to sleep, I cross my hands on my chest. / They will place my hands like this. / It will look as though I am flying into myself."

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His Amazon page is here.

Below, the late poet.

Bill-knott-postscript

May 18, 2014 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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